Rio’s Kakadu uranium takeover faces blocking stake

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 11-Feb-20

Zentree Investments has confirmed it will take part in a $476 million equity raising by Energy Resources Australia (ERA). ERA plans to use the money raised from the issue of new shares to finance the rehabiliation of uranium assets in the Northern Territory. Rio Tinto owns 68.39 per cent of ERA, and could boost its stake to over 90 per cent through the capital raising, as most of ERA’s minority shareholders are not expected to participate. This would allow it to move to move to compulsorily acquire the remaining ERA shares. Zentree currently owns 15.94 per cent of ERA, and can keep its stake at above 10 per cent if it buys around $48 million worth of new shares.

CORPORATES
ZENTREE INVESTMENTS, ENERGY RESOURCES OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX ERA, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

FAR moves closer to Senegal ambitions

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 11-Dec-19

FAR Limited has yet to confirm details of a capital raising, with its shares placed in a trading halt on 10 December pending an announcement. The equity raising is believed to include a $146m share placement and a $30m share purchase plan. The capital raising and a new debt facility will provide FAR with the funding needed to proceed with the Sangomar oil project in Senegal, in which it has a 15 per cent stake. The project is initially slated to produce about 230,000 million barrels of oil, commencing in 2023.

CORPORATES
FAR LIMITED – ASX FAR, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, CAIRN ENERGY PLC

Rio’s ERA equity raising challenged

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 20-Nov-19

Zentree Investments has asked the Takeovers Panel to intervene in Energy Resources of Australia’s proposed $476m capital raising. The proceeds of the entitlement offer will be used to help meet the cost of rehabilitation work at the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory. Zentree is concerned that the capital raising will allow Rio Tinto to increase its 68.4 per cent stake in ERA while gaining access to its tax losses and franking credits. Zentree is ERA’s second-largest shareholder.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, ENERGY RESOURCES OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX ERA, ZENTREE INVESTMENTS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. TAKEOVERS PANEL

Westpac dividend under pressure

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-19

There is growing speculation that Westpac could reduce its dividend payout in response to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new capital requirements. Westpac has yet to determine the size of its final dividend for 2018-19, but Credit Suisse has forecast both a lower payout and a capital raising of at least $1.5bn when Westpac releases its full-year results in early November. The prospect of further official interest rate cuts in Australia is also weighing on the earnings of the nation’s banks.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, EVANS AND PARTNERS ASIA FUND – ASX EAF, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, PM CAPITAL LIMITED

Macquarie’s $1.6bn capital raise

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 29-Aug-19

Macquarie Group has advised that its profit for the six months to 30 September will be about 10 per cent higher than the $1.3bn result for the same period in 2018. Macquarie posted a record profit of $2.98bn for the year to 31 March, and Jonathan Mott of UBS has forecast a profit of $3.04bn for fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, Macquarie is seeking to raise $1bn from institutional investors and up to $600m from retail investors via a share purchase plan. Most of the proceeds will be invested in assets such renewable energy, technology and infrastructure.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, CADENCE CAPITAL LIMITED – ASX CDT, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Investors query AMP turnaround

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 9-Aug-19

AMP has announced a loss of $2.3bn for the first half of 2019 and a new strategy to turn around its fortunes. Amongst other things, the wealth manager aims to reduce costs by about $300m a year. AMP has also flagged plans to significantly reduce the number of financial advisers in its network and place more emphasis on so-called roboadvice. AMP will also continue to pursue the sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life, while it will issue new shares at $1.50 apiece via a $650m capital raising.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Village eyes rebound as salaries, discounts cut

Original article by Jemima Whyte
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 11-Jul-18

Village Roadshow will use the proceeds of a $51m right issue to reduce its debt. The new shares will be offered at $1.65 apiece, which represents a discount of 24 per cent to the stock’s most recent trading price. The theme parks and cinemas group has also advised that it will cease offering discounted tickets via resellers, with co-CEO Graham Burke noting that the majority of consumers now buy tickets directly from Village Roadshow. The company will reduce its joint CEOs’ salaries and its directors’ fees as part of a strategy to cut costs.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, WARNER BROS MOVIE WORLD ENTERPRISES, SEAWORLD, WET `N’ WILD WATER PARK, TOPGOLF, VILLAGE ROADSHOW CORPORATION LIMITED, ARDENT LEISURE GROUP – ASX AAD, DREAMWORLD, GROUPON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank executives charged with criminal cartel offences

Original article by Stephen Letts
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 6-Jun-18

The ANZ Bank’s global head of treasury, Rick Moscati, is among six senior banking industry executives who will face criminal cartel charges arising from ANZ’s institutional share placement in 2015. Citigroup MD John McLean and the investment bank’s global head of foreign exchange trading, Itay Tuchman, have also been charged, as has Citi’s former Australian head, Stephen Roberts. Two former Deutsche Bank executives, Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson, also face charges following a two-year investigation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. The three banks will also be prosecuted for allegedly engaging in a cartel.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Fels supports cartel case against banks

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 5-Jun-18

The ANZ Bank, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank are facing criminal charges relating to alleged cartel behaviour regarding the sale of shares that were not taken up in an ANZ capital raising in 2015. The first hearing in the case, which has been instigated by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, is due to take place on 3 July. Former ACCC chairman Allan Fels says the case against the three companies appears to be a very technical one, and that their lawyers will be working hard to come up with a technical defence.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, ADLEY BURSTYNER, NRMA INSURANCE LIMITED

ANZ cartel matter unsettles financial community

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 4-Jun-18

Many legal experts expect that persuading a jury that the parties involved in the ANZ Bank’s cartel case had deliberately sought to break the law will be hard, while others note that a civil case would be easier to win. The Director of Public Prosecutions is pursuing a criminal cartel case against ANZ, Citi and Deutsche Bank on behalf of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. A third investment bank, JP Morgan, has been granted immunity from prosecution.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, COUNTRY CARE, UNILEVER PLC, BRITISH VIRGIN, CUSSONS